If you’ve never used them before, you might be unaware if cork yoga mats can get wet or not.
You don’t want to ruin your mat… but you also don’t want to miss out on a good yoga session because you’re worried about getting your mat wet.
In this article, we’ll discuss if cork yoga mats can get wet – and how to care for them properly.
This is incredibly important to read before buying and using a cork yoga mat (especially if you practice hot yoga). Let’s dive right in!
Can cork yoga mats get wet?
Generally, yes – with a few caveats. Around 99% of the time, your cork mat is perfectly fine getting wet and drenched, although you can’t submerge it under water for long periods of time. You must dry it correctly.
Cork and sweat
- Cork yoga mats have no problem handling sweat – even if it dries and remains on the surface for long periods of time.
- Just wash it off, if you’d like. You only need to disinfect it periodically.
- When it comes to performance, not only will your mat stay grippy – but the self-cleaning ability helps prevent irritation and skin inflammation.
So go ahead and choose a cork mat with confidence – your sweaty yoga practice will be safe and comfortable.
Dry it out by hanging it
The best way to dry your cork yoga mat? Hang it up in a well-ventilated area, such as a balcony or porch.
Avoid direct sunlight, which can damage the mat’s surface (same for most yoga items too).
Allowing your mat to air-dry will help prevent mold and mildew growth, and will also keep it free of bacteria. Hanging up your mat will help it retain its shape and prevent it from becoming creased or wrinkled.
With proper care, your yoga mat will provide you with years of enjoyment.
Don’t submerge underwater
It’s important to clean your yoga mat regularly, but you shouldn’t submerge it in water.
- Doing this can cause the cork to swell and result in permanent damage.
- Instead, wipe down your mat with a damp cloth or disinfectant spray.
- If you do need to wash your mat, use a mild soap and cool water.
Gently scrub the mat with a soft brush, then rinse it thoroughly. Hang it up to dry in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. We’ll cover more on this below too.
Odor and mold
Good news – cork is far more resistant to odor, mold and mildew than standard yoga mats. This goes back to the anti-microbial and self-cleaning features we mentioned above.
However, some people worry that cork mats could still create mold and mildew if they remain wet (without drying properly). There are a few simple things you can do to prevent mold and mildew from taking hold:
- Make sure to clean your mat regularly with a gentle yoga mat cleaner.
- Try to keep your mat in a well-ventilated area when not in use.
- If your mat does happen to get wet, simply roll it up and allow it to air dry completely before using it again.
With a little bit of care, your cork yoga mat will stay fresh and free of mold and mildew.
Are cork yoga mats slippery? Or do they have good grip?
A mat with a good grip is REQUIRED. After all, no one wants to slip during Warrior 3 pose.
That’s why cork yoga mats are becoming increasingly popular. Plus, if you’re dealing with a slippery mat, here’s how to fix a slippery yoga mat.
- Cork is naturally grippy, so it provides a stable surface for your practice.
- This is due to its high-friction substance on the surface, called Suberin.
- Suberin is a safe, all-natural micro-substance that is found in the cellular walls of cork (formed as it’s grown on the cork oak tree).
- This substance helps to protect the tree from insect infestation and fungal attacks. It also gives cork its unique ability to absorb impact and vibration.
These properties make cork an ideal material for yoga mats. Cork mats have an exceptional grip, even when sweaty, which helps to prevent slips and falls. For these reasons, many yogis and instructors agree that cork yoga mats are the best choice for avid practitioners.
Cork is anti-microbial and self-cleaning
Cork yoga mats are quickly becoming a popular choice for yogis of all levels.
Unlike traditional mats made of PVC or rubber, cork is a natural material that is both anti-microbial and self-cleaning.
- This means it helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi – and it also repels dirt and oils.
- It’s comfortable knowing your cork yoga mat will stay clean and fresh longer than standard yoga mats.
- Plus, cork is also eco-friendly and sustainable.
- It is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees, which can be done without damage to the tree.
Cork yoga mats provide a safe and healthy surface for practice, and they also help to protect the environment.
How to care for a cork yoga mat
1. Cleaning routine
If you want the full process we use to clean our cork yoga mats, check out our blog post “How to Clean a Cork Yoga Mat” – which covers:
- The methods we use
- The specific type of cleaning sprays/substances
- How often we clean them
- When it is and isn’t necessary to clean
2. Store and roll properly to prevent cracking or creases
We also have two more posts on these topics, which can be found here:
Both of these processes are quite important – if you improperly roll up and store a cork mat, you risk permanently damaging the mat. In short: roll them up gently, keep them out of sunlight, and handle with care!
3. Don’t squish, cause indents or apply rough force
Cork yoga mats provide a cushioned surface to prevent injuries and help with balance.
However, these mats can be easily damaged if they are not treated with care.
- Indents and squishes occur when too much pressure is applied to the mat by foreign/sharp objects and edges.
- This can cause the material to break down over time.
- Plus, rough force can also damage the mat, making it more difficult to grip and creating uneven surfaces.
To avoid these problems, it is important to be somewhat-gentle with your cork mat and avoid applying excessive force. With proper care, your yoga mat will last for well over 1 year.
Final thoughts on cork yoga mats getting wet
Yoga mats are an essential part of any yogi’s practice – providing a level of comfort and stability that is essential for proper alignment.
- It’s actually 100% safe to use a cork yoga mat when it is wet – without worrying (too much) about odor, mold and mildew.
- Just be sure to dry it off completely afterwards, and store it in a well-ventilated area to prevent mildew from forming.
- This will leave you feeling comfortable with a cork yoga mat.
With proper care, your cork yoga mat will provide years of comfortable support. They offer a unique combination of cushioning and support, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis alike.